I grew up with a “nose to the grindstone” mentality. Hard work will get you where you need to be.
Just keep working at it and you will succeed. And while hard work is crucial, critical, required, it’s not for everyone.
Or more specifically maybe I should say it’s not for everything and everytime.
There is a time and place for keeping your head down and working hard. And there are rewards for your efforts.
But I’ve also learned over time that when you just put your head down and work hard, it’s easy to miss that you’re trying to plow through a wall that already has a path built around it.
The world needs visionaries. The world needs ideas. The world needs a shift in prospective.
This all came to mind because I saw a report this week about a new product, transparent aluminum. It’s an amazing new ceramic that can be made thinner than hardened glass and be 10 times as strong. My mind immediately flashed back to a formative experience in my youth, when I went to see Star Trek IV. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should really go watch it, it’s one of the best Trek stories EVER! Without too many spoilers, they travel back in time and need to construct a giant storage tank with clear walls. So they work with a local industrialist to obtain the clear walls. As they have no money they barter by giving the man a secret from the future, a chemical formula that will enable him to make transparent aluminum. Fast forward to 30 years later and we’ve done it! All the details and connections can be seen here. It’s a real substance now. It can be made incredible light and incredibly strong. And it all started with someone’s idea.
Back in the 1980’s someone had a vision for transparent aluminum. It worked it’s way into the cultural mind through exposure in a movie and 30 years later we have something very similar.
It can be a long road from the vision to the future. But without the vision the future won’t happen. If someone hadn’t had the idea and shared it we wouldn’t be able to benefit from the implementation in the future.
Our world is created from our past visions.
Some of these visions have become a little scary. We need new visions and new direction. We can’t just expect the world to suddenly be better. We need to imagine it better. Dream it better. Share a vision of better. Then let the collective team of our world put their noses to the grindstone and make it happen.
A vision can come in moments. Implementation can take 30 years. But without the vision there is no implementation.
If you look at a ratio of percentages, you could say that the implementation is the most important part. It takes 99.999 percent of the time. The vision only takes 0.001 percent of the time. But without the vision there is no action. Without the vision, there is nothing.
Go be a dreamer. Write down some ideas. Share them. Today is not the day to make it happen, today is the day to imagine what will happen. Put your nose to the grindstone tomorrow.